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Chapter 1 Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound The Nature of Sound Waves carry energy,

Chapter 1

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

The Nature of Sound

Waves carry energy, not matter, from one place to another. Sound waves carry energy as packets of particle compressions. Much like a spring that is compressed, energy is stored in the areas of compression in a sound wave and therefore the propagation of sound is a type of mechanical energy. Electromagnetic waves on the other hand, such as light and X-rays, carry energy in the form of small packets called photons. Therefore, by defini- tion, sound waves are the cyclical compression and relaxation of particles in the medium through which they travel. Sound waves are mechanical, longitudinal waves. If the med- ium remains the same these waves will continue to travel in a straight line. They require a medium within which to propagate and unlike electromagnetic waves, mechanical (sound) waves will not travel in a vacuum. Two types of sound waves exist:

LONGITUDINAL: particle motion is along the same direction as the propagation of the wave energy. (SOUND WAVES)

as the propagation of the wave energy. ( SOUND WAVES) TRANSVERSE : particles move in a

TRANSVERSE:

particles move in a direction at right angles to the direction of a

wave. (POND WAVES)

at right angles to the direction of a wave. ( POND WAVES) Sound waves are transmitted

Sound waves are transmitted through particle motion. As the mechanical force is transmitted into the medium by the sound source, each particle will be pushed away from its resting position. As the sound wave passes, the particle returns to its resting, or equilibrium position. The distance that the particle moves is primarily a function of the magnitude of the impinging sound beam and, in reality, is very, very small. If measured in units of distance, particle movement would be less than one micron, or one-millionth, of an inch. Elastic forces, which hold molecules together, pull the particles back to their original position after the wave has passed. Of course, in diagnostic applications, the sound beam is actually vibrating “particles” in human soft tissue. Particles are little packets of matter just a little larger than the size of most molecules.

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

To simplify and standardize the discussion of waves, they are frequently displayed as a sine wave. One complete cycle, that is, from the beginning of the transfer of energy until it passes, is represented as a single sine wave. In this example, the solid line represents a single cycle. Note that since the transfer of energy occurs over a given period of time, time is represented as the arrowed, horizontal line.

time, time is represented as the arrowed, horizontal line. Wave Parameters Sound waves possess certain characteristics,

Wave Parameters

Sound waves possess certain characteristics, or parameters, which can be used to describe them. These characteristics apply to any sound beam whether it is above the range of human hearing ultrasound), below the range of human hearing (infrasound) or audible sound, those frequencies that are discernible by the human ear. The SEVEN parameters describing sound are:

the human ear. The SEVEN parameters describing sound are: Other wave parameters are: 4. PERIOD 5.

Other wave parameters are:

4. PERIOD

5. AMPLITUDE

6. POWER

7. INTENSITY

V = fλλλλ

Wave Formula

Also

expressed as:

λ = v/f

f = v/λ

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

1. Propagation Velocity (cm/sec)

Propagation velocity is defined as the speed with which a wave travels through a medium. The terms SPEED and VELOCITY are used interchangeably in discussions of ultrasound waves but a distinction does exist: SPEED is defined as the distance traveled over a period of time, such as miles per hour or cm/sec. VELOCITY is defined as speed with a given direction.

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT: cm/sec

Various tissues in the human body have various ultrasound velocities. The velocity of sound in most soft tissue is very close to 1540 m/sec. This number is very important in understanding how two-dimensional sonographic images are created using echo information received by the ultrasound scanner. (See section on Pulse Echo Imaging Systems). The velocity of ultrasound through blood, brain, kidney, liver and muscle varies only slightly from 1540 m/sec; typically by less than 40 m/sec, or 2%. The speed of a sound wave through a medium depends primarily upon the DENSITY and STIFFNESS of the medium. The denser the medium the slower the propagation speed because greater mass and force are required to displace the particles from their equilibrium point.

Denser media are also

more difficult to get "vibrating". Another way of stating this relationship is that density and

propagation speed are inversely related.

DENSITY (ρρρρ) is defined as mass per unit volume (e.g. g/cm 3 ).

DENSITY VELOCITY DENSITY VELOCITY

STIFFNESS (the opposite of compressibility) is also related to propagation speed. Something called BULK MODULUS (ββββ) measures the stiffness of tissue; it varies more than the density in tissue and affects velocity the most. Very stiff substances are not at all compressible and allow sound to travel through at high velocities. Therefore, we can state that stiffness is directly related to propagation speed – as stiffness increases, so does propagation speed. A good way to visualize this relationship is the example of ball bearings hanging on the strings. Ball bearings consist of stainless steel and are very stiff. This allows the compression energies to pass through them very efficiently and very quickly without disturbing the position of the ball bearing itself. An example of a very stiff substance in clinical practice is bone. Bone is not very dense because it possesses many blood vessels and in some cases even air pockets. However, it is very stiff; that is, it does not compress easily. Therefore, sound and other types of compression energy travel very fast in bone.

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

STIFFNESS VELOCITY STIFFNESS VELOCITY

All sound, regardless of the frequency, travels at the same speed in the same medium. (Other factors may slightly affect the velocity of sound, such as ultrasonic frequency, but these factors have no perceptible influence from a medical imaging perspective) Therefore, 5 MHz and 2.25 MHz ultrasound beams will travel at approximately 1540 m/sec in all human soft tissue. It also means that audible sound, be it a human voice, or a train whistle, will travel through air (same medium) at the same speed.

FORMULA:

WHERE:

V =

ββββ/ρρρρ

V = velocity ρ = density β = bulk modulus

Typical Propagation Velocities

Medium

M/sec

Air

330

Fat

1460

WATER (20 o C)

1480

Ave. Soft Tissue

1540

WATER (50 o C)

1540

Liver

1559

Blood

1570

Muscle

1580

Bone

3500

PZT (Crystal)

4000

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

2. Frequency

(Hertz, CPS)

In wave theory, frequency is defined as the number of waves or cycles passing a single point over a given period of time. The more cycles passing the same point in the same period of time (usually seconds), the higher the frequency. An alternative description of frequency is the rate at which the same phenomenon occurs. Both descriptions include time as a standard factor in defining frequency. Measured in cycles or occurrences per second, all sound waves have frequency whether they are in the audible range of human hearing or in the realm of ultrasound, that is, those possessing frequencies above the range of human hearing.

possessing frequencies above the range of human hearing. 1 sec In this example, three cycles can
possessing frequencies above the range of human hearing. 1 sec In this example, three cycles can

1 sec

In this example, three cycles can be counted over a one second period of time. Therefore, the frequency is 3 cycles/second, or 3Hz.

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT: HERTZ = 1cps

One HERTZ = One cycle, or wave, passing a given point each second.

KILOHERTZ

= 1,000

Hz

MEGAHERTZ = 1,000,000 Hz

In discussion of audible sound, frequency is often referred to as “pitch”. The noticeable difference in pitch, particularly in musical applications, provides a good example of the difference in sound frequencies. (In fact, changes in audible frequencies play a role in Doppler ultrasound applications that will be discussed later). In the musical example, higher frequency is equal to higher pitch. On a piano, middle C approximately 250 cps (Hz). Each octave represents a doubling of frequency, so going up the scale, the first C above middle C is approximately 500 Hz. The human ear can detect frequencies in the range of approximately 20 - 20,000 Hz. Frequencies higher than this are called ultrasound; frequencies below the range of human hearing are call infrasound.

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

Categories of Sound

INFRASOUND

< 20Hz

AUDIBLE SOUND

20 - 20,000Hz

ULTRASOUND

> 20,000 Hz

The most frequently used frequencies in clinical sonographic applications are approximately 2 – 10 MHz (million cps). Frequency is constant within a given medium and is determined by the sound source. Therefore, whether sound is traveling in liver, brain, blood, uterus, or bone, the frequency does not change. Other parameters of the sound wave may be affected by the various characteristics of different soft tissues, but the frequency does not change. The only exception to this rule is when ultrasound interacts with moving particles, such as red blood cells. In such cases, there is a frequency change, or shift, that becomes the basis of Doppler ultrasound technology.

3. Wavelength (mm, µµµµm)

Wavelength describes the spatial dimension of a wave, or more specifically, the length that a wave occupies in space. It is an important characteristic of ultrasound waves in that it directly affects image quality.

Wave A

waves in that it directly affects image quality. Wave A Wave B UNITS OF MEASUREMENT (length):

Wave B

in that it directly affects image quality. Wave A Wave B UNITS OF MEASUREMENT (length): mm,
in that it directly affects image quality. Wave A Wave B UNITS OF MEASUREMENT (length): mm,

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT (length): mm, µm, meters

FORMULA:

where:

λλλλ = V/F

λ = wavelength

V

= velocity

F

= frequency

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

Using the above formula, the wavelength of ultrasound beams used in clinical practice can be calculated. (The assumption is made that the velocity of sound in human soft tissue is 1540m/s.)

EXAMPLE 1: Calculate the wavelength for a 2.25 MHZ transducer

λ = V/F

= 1,540m/s ÷ 2,250,000 c/s

= 0.00068m x 1,000 mm/m

= .68mm

EXAMPLE 2: Calculate the wavelength for a 3.5 MHZ transducer

λ

= V/F

= 1,540m/s ÷ 3,500,000 c/s

= 0.00044m x 1,000 mm/m

= .44mm

EXAMPLE 3: Calculate the wavelength for a 5.0 MHZ transducer

λ

= V/F

= 1,540m/s ÷ 5,000,000 c/s

= 0.00031m x 1,000 mm/m

= .31mm

The above exercises demonstrate that as frequency increases, wavelength decreases. Therefore, frequency and wavelength are inversely proportional.

↑↑↑↑ FREQUENCY ∞∞∞∞ ↓↓↓↓WAVELENGTH

FREQUENCY

WAVELENGTH

Wave Phase

We already know that sound waves are repetitive, cyclic variations of pressure passing though a medium. When two or more waves are passing through the same medium at the same time, they may enhance the energy transmitted or they may diminish it. Whether this happens depends on the relative phase of the each wave.

A phase can reference any event in a wave, from start to finish. It is defined as the

particular stage or point of advancement in a cycle measured from some arbitrary point

of origin. It is related to when in time an event occurs.

When two or more waves are traveling in the same or opposite directions and superimpose, the resultant waveform will depend on the phase relationship and the relative amplitude of the original waves. The principle of wave interference, or superimposition, is essential in understanding the formation of sound beams, electronic

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

beam steering and focusing methods, Doppler instrumentation design, and matching layer transducer designs.

If two waves of equal strength superimpose in phase, the resulting wave will be twice as strong as either initial wave. This type of positive wave superimposition is known as CONSTRUCTIVE INTERFERENCE. If two waves superimpose out-of-phase, there is a net loss of energy in the resultant wave. This is known as DESTRUCTIVE INTERFERENCE. An example of constructive interference is two drumsticks being tapped. If both sticks are being tapped at the same time, they are in phase and the overall sound level will be louder. An example of destructive interference is “white noise” machines that are sometimes used to drown out or eliminate unwanted sounds.

Wave 1

Wave 2

to drown out or eliminate unwanted sounds. Wave 1 Wave 2 In phase Constructive Interference Out

In phase

out or eliminate unwanted sounds. Wave 1 Wave 2 In phase Constructive Interference Out of phase

Constructive

Interference

sounds. Wave 1 Wave 2 In phase Constructive Interference Out of phase Destructive interference Physical Principles

Out of phase

Destructive

interference

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

Summary of Formulae
Summary of Formulae
Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound Summary of Formulae Summary of Clinical Applications HIGHER FREQUENCIES =
Summary of Clinical Applications
Summary of Clinical Applications

HIGHER FREQUENCIES = SHORTER WAVELENGTHS

SHORTER WAVELENGTHS = BETTER AXIAL RESOLUTION

BETTER AXIAL RESOLUTION = MORE DIAGNOSTIC INFORMATION

BUT

HIGHER FREQUENCIES = LESSER PENETRATION

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

4. Period (seconds, µµµµs, ηηηηs)

Period is the length of time it takes for the completion a single cycle. It is defined as the time from the beginning of one cycle to the beginning of the next cycle.

Start

Time

of one cycle to the beginning of the next cycle. Start Time End In sonographic imaging

End

In sonographic imaging systems, typical period values range from .15 - 1 millionths of a second (.15-1µs). Period is the reciprocal of frequency and therefore is inversely proportional to it. Since period varies with frequency of the transducer it is, therefore, determined by the source.

FORMULA: PERIOD = 1/FREQUENCY

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT (time): seconds, µµµµs, ηηηηs

EXAMPLE 1:

Determine the period of a single waveform emitted by a 3.5MHz transducer. Period = 1/frequency

= 1/3,500,000 cycles/sec

= 0.000000285 sec/cycle

= 0.285µs

EXAMPLE 2:

Determine the period of a single waveform emitted by a 5MHz transducer. Period = 1/frequency

= 1/5,000,000 cycles/sec

= 0.0000002 sec/cycle

= 0.2µs

The above exercises demonstrate that as frequency increases, period decreases. Therefore, frequency and wavelength are inversely proportional.

FREQUENCY PERIOD FREQUENCY PERIOD

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

5. Amplitude

(units vary with what is being measured)

Amplitude describes the strength of the pressure in a wave. Technically, it is the defined as the difference between the average and the maximum value of an acoustic variable. It usually refers to the distance that a particle moves from its resting point during oscillation by a sonic pulse. The magnitude of displacement is referred to as AMPLITUDE and may be compared to "loudness". For example, if the volume on a home stereo system is increased, the amplitude of the sound coming from the speakers increases. Using the stereo speaker analogy, the speaker membrane will move a greater distance from its resting position as the amplitude, or volume is turned up (increased).

Resting point

Time
Time

P

r

e

s
s

s

u

r

e

Maximum variation

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT: varies with acoustic variable being measured.

PARTICLE MOTION DENSITY PRESSURE

cm, inches, units of distance grams/cc 3 lbs/square inch, Paschals, mmHg

Amplitude is determined by the sound source and it changes as it travels through the

body.

point of maximal variation from the resting point. In this example, the amplitude of this wave is approximately 2 units.

The above figure demonstrates amplitude on a sine wave. It is measured at the

6. Power

(Watts, mWatts)

Power is the rate at which work is performed or, in ultrasound physics, the rate at which energy is transferred into a medium. It is equal to work done (or energy transferred) divided by the time required to do the

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT: watts, milliwatts

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

Power is determined by the sound source and can be altered by the operator. It is proportional to the amplitude of a wave squared.

FORMULA: POWER (amplitude) 2

EXAMPLE:

If amplitude is tripled, the power is increased nine times its original value. (3) 2 = 9

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Committee on Bioeffects has the following to say about acoustic power:

“The acoustic power generated by a device is equal to the amount of acoustic energy (capacity to do work, e.g., produce a biological effect) it produces in unit time. The power is one watt (1 W) if one joule (1 J) of energy is produced per second. The joule is equal to 0.239 calories (cal) where the calorie is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. The milliwatt (mW) is 0.0001 W and the kilowatt is 1000 W. If the ultrasonic device is operating in continuous waves (CW) mode the power is delivered at a uniform rate. If the device is operating in pulsed mode the power varies with time.”

7. Intensity

(Watts/cm 2 , mWatts/cm 2 )

Intensity is a measure of how much ultrasound energy is present in human soft tissue. The ultimate consideration of ultrasound intensity in clinical practice relates to patient exposure during the examination process. The current discussion on acoustic variables, however, views intensity from a more purely theoretical, physical perspective.

Technically, intensity is a measure of ultrasonic energy concentration. This measurement can be made over a given area (spatial intensity) or over a given period of time (temporal intensity). In either case, intensity is a statement of how much energy is present in a given unit volume. The more energy present per unit volume, the higher the intensity. A classic example of changes in intensity involves sunlight falling on a pile of dried leaves. Sunlight is the energy and if it is dispersed over an entire mound of leaves, the energy per unit volume is relatively low. If the sunlight is focused to a very small area using a magnifying glass, the energy per unit volume is dramatically increased so much so that combustion could occur and a fire could be started. In both instances, the amount of sunlight remains constant while the unit area is decreased. By reducing the area upon which the energy is falling, the intensity increases.

Therefore in considering spatial intensity, area is inversely related to intensity.

AREA INTENSITY

INTENSITY

AREA

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

If the amount of energy being dispersed over the same area is increased, the intensity also increases. Therefore, quantity of energy is directly related to intensity. Intensity of an ultrasound beam is determined by the voltage, which rings the crystal as well as certain characteristics of transducer design.

ENERGY INTENSITY

↓↓↓↓ ENERGY ∞∞∞∞ ↓↓↓↓INTENSITY

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT: Watts/cm 2 or mWatts/cm 2

1 mW/cm 2 = .001 W/cm 2

1 W/cm 2 = 1000 mW/cm 2

Spatial Intensity

Spatial intensity can be defined as the energy dispersed over a given area or:

SI = E/A

where: SI = spatial intensity

E = ultrasound energy (watts, mWatts)

A = area being insonated (cm 2 )

Since the definition of intensity includes area (cm 2 ) as a variable, the size of the ultrasound beam passing through a medium affects intensity. The size of the beam varies

with focusing and crystal size and therefore varies from transducer to transducer. Intensity is inversely proportional to the area. (Area is the denominator). Therefore, as the beam gets narrower by focusing, intensity increases. For example, if the output power of a

scanner is 50 mW/cm

and the insonated area is 5 cm 2 , the intensity is 10 mW/cm 2 . If the

same beam is directed into a 1 cm 2 area of tissue, the intensity would be 50 mW/cm 2 .

2

Also, intensity is not uniform across a beam. In the near field of a beam produced by a non-focused transducer crystal, the beam is wider (AREA) and, therefore, spatial intensity is relatively reduced (INTENSITY). In the far field of the same beam, where the beam diverges (AREA), intensity is also less (INTENSITY) than at the focal point of the beam.

less ( ↓ INTENSITY) than at the focal point of the beam. The beam emitted from

The beam emitted from the transducer in the above example will have a higher intensity at the focal point than it will near the face (near field). As the beam narrows, the

) must increase because the area is less.

concentration of energy (measured in Watts/cm

As the beam diverges in the far field, the area again increases, so the intensity will

2

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

decrease. One of the primary methods of measuring the intensity of ultrasound in the human body is based on where exactly it is measured. This is the spatial method of measurement. Spatial peak (SP) is measured along the central beam at the narrowest point. Spatial average (SA) is the average intensity in the sound beam and is usually measured at the transducer face. The amount of spread of an ultrasound beam in space can be described and is called the BEAM UNIFORMITY RATIO or BEAM UNIFORMITY COEFFICIENT. It is the defined as the ratio between spatial peak and spatial average intensities and is denoted as the SP/SA FACTOR.

FORMULA

SPATIAL PEAK INTENSITY (watts/cm 2 )

SP/SA FACTOR =

SPATIAL AVERAGE INTENSITY (watts/cm 2 )

Note: SP/SA FACTOR 1.

EXAMPLE: If the spatial peak = 2 mW/cm 2 ; spatial average = 1 mW/cm 2

SP/SA factor =

=

2 mW/cm 2 1 mW/cm 2

2:1

The SP/SA factor is analogous to the duty factor, except that it relates to space rather than time. Since the SP intensity must exceed the SA intensity, the ratio between the two must be at least 1. The closer the SP/SA factor is to 1, the more "even" or homogenous the beam is. The larger the SP/SA factor is, the brighter the center is in comparison to its sides.

Temporal Intensity

Intensity also varies with time. The word temporal describes when in time intensity is measured. Generally, intensity is less at the beginning and end of a pulse than it is during the middle. It takes a few microseconds for the intensity to reach its maximum value after the voltage is applied to the crystal. Peak intensity does not occur instantaneously. The point in time when the intensity reaches its maximum value is called temporal peak (TP). There are a number of methods of measuring the temporal intensity. If the average intensity of all the pulses occurring is calculated, it is called the temporal average. Since an ultrasound transducer crystal is not continuously emitting sound but, rather, spends most of the time “listening” for echoes returning from transmitted pulses, it wouldn't be fair to measure the OFF time when calculating temporal average. Therefore, only ON time is included in measuring temporal average. ON time is called duty factor and will also be discussed under pulsed imaging techniques. Temporal average is determined by multiplying the temporal peak intensity by the duty factor.

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

FORMULA: TA = TP * DUTY FACTOR

where:

TA = temporal average TP = temporal peak

Note: DUTY FACTOR values between 0 and 1.

Since temporal average is directly proportional to both temporal peak intensity and duty factor, increasing either of these will increase the temporal average intensity. By changing the pulse repetition frequency (PRF), the duty factor changes and, will subsequently, change the TA intensity. Temporal factors vary significantly if the sound beam is pulsed, as it is in all imaging systems.

TEMPORAL PEAK TEMPORAL AVERAGE

DUTY FACTOR

TEMPORAL AVERAGE

Intensity Measurement

In measuring the intensity of a sound beam, complications arise because the intensity is not always constant throughout the beam at any given time. In medical ultrasound applications, there are two types of sound beam emissions: continuous wave (CW) that is used primarily in non-imaging Doppler applications; and pulsed wave (PW) that is utilized for all sonographic imaging modalities. Obviously, temporal intensities will vary significantly between the two types of insonating beams.

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

Definitions
Definitions

Exactly how to measure intensity at a given point in space and time is confusing

because it varies so much. Four definitive terms relate to the measurement of ultrasound intensity and they are spatial, temporal, peak and average.

SPATIAL:

where in SPACE is intensity measured (depth in the body).

TEMPORAL:

when in TIME is intensity measured.

PEAK:

the MAXIMUM value

AVERAGE:

the average, or mean, value

These definitions can be combined as follows in referring to the intensity of an ultrasound beam:

SPTP - spatial peak, temporal peak - HIGHEST VALUE SATP - spatial average, temporal peak

SPTA - spatial peak, temporal average – MOST COMMONLY REFERENCED IN BIOEFFECTS

SATA - spatial average, temporal average - LOWEST VALUE

SPPA - spatial peak, pulse average - AVERAGE OVER DURATION OF PULSE ONLY.

Physical Principles of General and Vascular Sonography

22

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

Acoustic Variables

Sound is a form of energy that propagates through a medium in the form of a wave. Waves carry energy, not matter, from one place to another. A wave can be defined a traveling, cyclic variation of energy. The variations that occur in the wave over time can be analyzed and quantitated (measured). These measurable quantities are known as acoustic variables and they describe various parameters of sound waves. Acoustic variables vary in time and space as the sound waves travel through a medium. They include:

1. Pressure

2. Density

3. Particle displacement

4. Temperature

1. Pressure

(Newtons/m 2 )

Pressure is defined as the ratio of a force acting on a surface of an object. Any fluid (liquid or gas) exerts pressure on objects immersed in it. For example, the air around us exerts a pressure on us (since we are "immersed" in air), which can be measured with a barometer. Scuba divers can attest to the force exerted on their bodies by the weight of the water above and surrounding them. When a substance, such as the water surrounding the scuba diver, is at rest (equilibrium) and is not being disturbed by the transfer of some form of energy, the difference in pressure points within this fluid is totally dependent on the density of the water. When energy is introduced into this water, such as it is when ultrasound waves are sent into human soft tissue, equilibrium is disturbed, and pressure changes occur.

If there were no forces, everything would be in a state of constant of the rest or steady motion. The law of inertia explains it well. A body in motion will remain in motion, or a body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by a force. A gyroscope would continue spinning throughout eternity if not slowly stopped by friction, a force acting upon it. And an automobile certainly wouldn't be able to move if not for the mechanical force supplied by the engine overcoming the inertia of rest of the wheels. Forces change the state of rest or motion of matter. Ultrasound shakes human soft tissue out of its state of rest. When considering sound, the force per unit area is called pressure.

↑↑↑↑ AREA ∞∞∞∞ ↓↓↓↓PRESSURE

↓↓↓↓ AREA

∞∞∞∞ ↑↑↑↑ PRESSURE

Physical Principles of General and Vascular Sonography

23

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

The same amount of force applied to an object may produce markedly different results if

the pressures at which it is applied are different. If, for example, a small force is applied by

a hand to a balloon, it will simply move. If that same small force is applied by a sharp

needle, the balloon will break. The difference is that the needle applies the same amount

of force over a much smaller area (a very high pressure), breaking the balloon.

FORMULA

P

=

where:

F = force A = area

F

A

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT: Newtons/m 2

Cyclical, or alternating, variations in pressure occur as a sound wave moves through a

medium. Regions of increased pressure (compressions) are characterized by increased density of the medium through which it is traveling (i.e., soft tissue). The force applied at this point in the wave cycle compresses the medium, reducing the area, thereby increasing the density. Areas of decreased pressure (rarefaction) follow these areas of compression,

or condensation. In this phase, the relaxation of the medium is accompanied by decreased

density. The variation in pressure between the point of maximum compression (maxima)

and maximum relaxation (minima) is called PEAK-TO-PEAK pressure. The variation in pressure from equilibrium is called PEAK PRESSURE.

Areas of compression form regions of higher-than-normal density and areas of rarefaction form regions of lower than normal density. The ability to form these compressions and rarefactions is limited by the relative elasticity of the carrying medium. The ability to squeeze molecules of a material closer together is called compressibility, and is determined by how close the molecules are. Molecules that are widely separated, as in a gas, can be easily compressed. On the other hand, molecules that are already very close together, as in most metals, are already tightly packed and resist further compres- sion. It follows, then, that longitudinal waves can easily compress air but cannot easily compress material that has a high density, such as metal or bone. In general, as the density of a material increases, the ability to form compressional waves decreases.

↑↑↑↑ DENSITY ∞∞∞∞ ↓↓↓↓COMPRESSIBILITY

DENSITY

COMPRESSIBILITY

Physical Principles of General and Vascular Sonography

24

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

2. Particle displacement (units of distance)

Displacement is the distance that a body has moved after being impinged upon by a

force.

It is the distance that particles move from their equilibrium positions.

that particles move from their equilibrium positions. EQUILIBRIUM DISPLACED 3. Density (Kg/M 2 , g/cm 2

EQUILIBRIUM

DISPLACED

3. Density

(Kg/M 2 , g/cm 2 )

Density is a property that is common to all matter, and it's also one property that makes each type of matter unique. Basically it is defined as mass per unit volume. The more mass confined to a given volume, the greater the density. For example, compare the density of a 1 cubic centimeter (cm 3 ) marshmallow to a 1-cm 3 piece of hard candy. Since a marshmallow contains a great amount of air interspersed with molecules of sugar, the mass of sugar in 1-cm 3 is small. Therefore, density is low. Hard candy, on the other hand, contains less air and more sugar in the same unit volume so the density is higher.

FORMULA :

D =

m

v

where:

m = mass v = unit volume

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT: Kg/M 3 , g/cm 3

v = unit volume UNITS OF MEASUREMENT : Kg/M 3 , g/cm 3 HIGH DENSITY LOW

HIGH DENSITY

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT : Kg/M 3 , g/cm 3 HIGH DENSITY LOW DENSITY In ultrasound physics,

LOW DENSITY

In ultrasound physics, density is referred to as mass density and can be defined as the mass of the object divided by its volume. It is an important material property that has a direct effect upon some ultrasonic properties such as propagation speed which is determined by the density and stiffness of a particular material. Propagation speed increases when density decreases as discussed earlier.

Physical Principles of General and Vascular Sonography

25

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

4. Temperature

(C o , F o )

Temperature is the measure of relative warmth or coolness of an object. The tempera- ture of a substance measures not its heat content but rather the average kinetic energy of its molecules. Temperature also is the condition of a body that determines transfer of heat to or from other bodies. No heat flow occurs when two bodies of equal temperature come in contact with each other. However, when one body is cooler than the other, heat flows from the warmer body into the cooler one.

Temperature becomes important in considering ultrasound because the speed of sound varies with the temperature of the medium through which it travels. While the change in speed is not significant, it does occur. There is about one-tenth (0.1%) of one percent change in speed per degree Centigrade change.

Physical Principles of General and Vascular Sonography

26

Chapter 1. The Nature of Sound

Handy Conversions and Tables

Wave Parameters

Parameter

 

Basic Unit

Units

Formula

FREQUENCY

 

Cycles/Sec

Hertz

F = V/W

WAVELENGTH

 

Length

 

µm, mm

W = V/F

VELOCITY

 

Speed

 

cm/sec

V = W x F

PERIOD

 

Time

 

µs

P = 1/frequency

AMPLITUDE

 

Varies

     

POWER

 

Work Done

Watts

P = amplitude 2

INTENSITY

 

Energy

 

Watts/cm 2

(see text)

 

Acoustic Variables

 

PARAMETER

   

FORMULA

 

BASIC UNITS

PRESSURE

 

P

∞∞∞∞ F/A

newtons/m 2

DENSITY

D

= m/v

Kg/M 3 , g/cm 3

PARTICLE DISPLACEMENT

N/A

 

distance, µm

TEMPERATURE

 

N/A

 

C

0

Intensity Formulae

Product

Formula

SATA

SPTA ÷ (SP/SA) factor

SATP

SATA ÷ duty factor

SPTA

SPTP x duty factor

Physical Principles of General and Vascular Sonography

27